Kidnappings occur in the United States every day, the majority of them are family problems or sexual predators. We are all familiar with these and warn our children about them. Now we can expect to see a new type of kidnapping become popular, the ransom kidnapping.
These were common during the depression of the 1930’s but have since dropped off. However as our middle class is decreasing and we are becoming a third world country economically, kidnapping for ransom is starting to reappear. As of yet it is primarily confined to minority communities, but that will change with time.
Now I know many of you think that I don’t have a lot of money it won’t affect me. Think again. There is a new type called express kidnappings that is occurring in many third world countries and is now starting in the US. This can involve and actual kidnapping or a phony one. The ransom amounts are usually small and have to be paid with a very short time. In many instances, there is no actual kidnapping. It is just a hoax with someone screaming in the background. Your child may be safe at school, but they lead you to believe he has been grabbed. This scheme has been quite successful in many poor communities.
Here are a few tips to make your child safe from kidnapping
- Make sure they know their name address and phone numbers and how to call 911.
- Teach your kids that if someone approaches them in a manner that scares them, it is ok to run and scream.
- Teach them not let anyone on the phone or at the door know that they are home alone.
- If they are ever grabbed, your kids need to scream, kick, bite and fight as hard as they can to get away. Attract attention.
- Teach your kids to tell their parents or a trusted adult if someone is asking them to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable
- Teach them to avoid shortcuts through dark or poorly lit areas when they are walking from one place to another.
- Don’t ever leave your children unattended in a vehicle.
- Make sure you know how to find or contact your children at all times. This is a big one; always know where your children are.
- Have your children practice screaming.
- Set up a code word with your child in case of emergency. Teach your children not to go with anyone unless they know the code word. Don’t be afraid to set up a test.
- Create a map of your neighborhood so your children know where to go if they’re threatened. Point out safe locations, this could be a friend, neighbor, store or a police or fire station.
- Adults should not ask children for help. That should be a warning sign that something is wrong. Predators often ask children for help in finding lost dogs or other animals or they may ask your child for direction in order to get them close to their vehicle so they can grab them.
- Teach your children to stay out of arm’s length of strangers. One serial killer would use crutches or slings to get people to feel comfortable so he could get near them.
- Teach your children to never under any circumstances get in a car with strangers.
As you can see these steps are all just common sense, take the time to teach these steps to your children or grandchildren. They may just keep them safe.